Mr. Henry P. Wolokolie, chairman, Liberia Consumer Protection Association (LCPA)Consumer Advocacy Group urges swift action to further “Pro-poor” agendaThe Liberia Consumer Protection Association (LCPA), an off-shoot of the National Consumer Council of Liberia (NCCL) has expressed concern over the delay in constituting the Board of Directors of the Liberia Medicines and Health Products Regulatory Authority (LMHRA) and the subsequent appointment of its managing director by President George Weah.In a strongly-worded statement issued in Monrovia and signed by its chairman, Henry P. Wolokolie on May 31, LCPA also expressed shock and indignation about the inaction of President Weah on this matter.The LCPA believes that further delay in naming establishing the Board would expose Liberians to the consumption of substandard and counterfeit medicines, which it notes is definitely against the pro-poor agenda of the government.According to a statement, the continuous and prolonged delay in the constitution of the Board and the appointment of its managing director is growing into a grave health issue and putting the health of consumers at serious risk.Owing to the delay, the statement said, the authority has not been able to regulate and monitor the importation, distribution and retailing of pharmaceuticals on the market.LCPA believes the current delay has led to the influx of substandard and counterfeit medicines on the market.The LCPA statement noted that the LMHRA was established by an Act in 2010 to ensure that safe, effective and good quality medicines reach the Liberian public and them from the harmful effects of substandard and counterfeit medicines and health products as well as to ensure fair trade practices in medicines and health products.Besides, the statement added, the LMHRA is to establish regulations to fight illegal trade in medicines, including counterfeit and adulterated medicines and health products, among others.“The Board of Directors shall have eleven voting members, to be appointed by President Weah,” the Act states.Therefore, members of the association have called on President Weah to speedily constitute the Board of directors of the LMHRA and the subsequent appointment of its managing director.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Some day soon you may be able to extract water out of thin air, decorate your walls with detachable wallpaper, read street signs clearly in fog, and employ reusable tape underwater. These are some of the innovations coming from biomimetics – science inspired by nature’s designs.Venus flytrap: Alex Crosby at University of Massachusetts was intrigued by the action of Venus flytrap, which changes almost instantly from convex to concave when triggered. Science Daily reported how his team plans to make a variety of products that mimic this shape-snapping transition at large and small scales. A small input of energy can produce a large change in geometry. “Imagine paint that adheres to a surface, but releases on command or road signs that change their reflectivity with changing weather conditions,” the article began.Spider web: Imagine being able to harvest water out of thin air. Israeli scientists, inspired by how dew collects on a spider’s web, have created a dew-harvesting device that funnels atmospheric moisture into a collection and filtration unit. New Scientist has a picture and description of the invention. In one day, the 10-meter wide device collected 20 liters of water. The device won an engineering contest for fresh-water solutions for drought-stricken areas. Improved models are expected to fit into the collection pot for portability. This water-collection technique may be familiar to survivalists who have used a similar approach for emergency water collection: the desert still (see Desert USA).Geckos and insects: Sticky tape inspired by gecko and insect feet is making strides. An article on PhysOrg shows a dramatic electron micrograph of a complex insect foot. Researchers at Max Planck Institute studied 300 insects for ideas on manufacturing the ideal, reusable adhesive. The result is a sticky tape that stays clean, can be reused thousands of times, and is twice as sticky as regular tape. It can be washed with soap. The inventors put it on a small robot and it proceeded to walk right up the wall.Put the ideas together, and you can get even more benefits. The Venus flytrap article (above) states that one application is a kind of Venus-flytrap/gecko hybrid, that can allow the development of “smart adhesives by covering the lenses with hairs that adhere in the convex position and release when the lenses are concave.” Some day you may try out a new wallpaper and just peel it right off for another, or reposition it easily, without all the muss and fuss of old-fashioned paste. Last month in Science,1 W. Jon P. Barnes (Centre for Cell Engineering, Institute of Biomedical and Life Sciences, University of Glasgow) wrote about “Biomimetic Solutions to Sticky Problems.” From velcro to gecko tape, “biomimetics is certainly coming of age,” he said. He wrote about some of the high-tech materials coming out of animal-inspired research, and commented that even more smart adhesives are “likely to be inspired by the remarkable mechanisms developed by climbing animals over millions of years of evolution.” Funny; none of the inventors in the other articles claimed that evolutionary theory had anything to do with their research.Update 11/20/2007: BASF labs is using photonic crystals to produce optical routers for fiber-optic networks. “This phenomenon is known from nature: the splendid, shimmering colors on butterfly wings derive from the properties of photonic crystals.”1. W. Jon P. Barnes, “Materials Science: Biomimetic Solutions to Sticky Problems,” Science, 12 October 2007: Vol. 318. no. 5848, pp. 203-204, DOI: 10.1126/science.1149994.In ancient times, people built elaborate cisterns to collect rainwater for survival. You can see incredible water systems Herod built at Herodium, Masada and Jerusalem. Even more ancient systems carved out of solid rock, like those at Megiddo and Gibeon, arouse awe at the amount of work men exerted to collect the precious fluid of life in the dry climate of the middle east. Imagine the expression on their faces if you could show them a portable invention that everyone could use at home to collect water out of thin air most days of the year, even without rain, based on the web of the lowly spider. These stories should warm our hearts. Real scientists and engineers, inspired by plants and animals at our feet, are adapting the design they see into useful, practical products that can improve our lives. These inventions owe nothing to evolutionary theory. They owe everything to design detection, combined with the human ingenuity to observe, imagine, and create. Want your kid to be on the cutting edge of 21st century science? Want him or her to improve the world and maybe make a lot of money doing it? Take them out in the yard, looking for bugs and leaves and birds and anything natural. Look for opportunities to ask, “How do they do that?” When science projects are assigned, inspire them with creative ideas based on biomimetics—intelligent design at work. Some day that aptitude to see design in nature may turn into a profitable career. Combined with the character trait of charity you should also be teaching your kids, it might inspire them to make discoveries that could help impoverished people in third-world countries lead more productive lives without harm to the environment – taking advantage of innovations their fellow creatures have been using for millennia. To think that Ken Miller called intelligent design a science-stopper (11/14/2007). Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise (03/16/2006).(Visited 13 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
The uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park has outstanding natural beauty, Africa’s highest mountain range south of Kilimanjaro, a fascinating and ancient geology, some of the rarest animals in the world – and the largest, richest and most concentrated series of rock art in Africa. In 2000 it became the fourth site in South Africa to be granted World Heritage status by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco).World Heritage in South AfricaDid you know that Table Mountain has more plant species than the British Isles? Or that the Vredefort Dome is the world’s largest and oldest meteor impact crater? SA is home to seven Unesco World Heritage sites, places of “outstanding value to humanity”.Internationally, there are 812 World Heritage sites, in 137 countries. Africa has 65 sites and South Africa a total of seven. Three of these are cultural sites and three natural. The Drakensberg, because of its remarkable geology and unmatched wealth of San rock art, is a mixed cultural and natural World Heritage site.The uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park lies in the west of KwaZulu-Natal on the Lesotho border. It is 243 000 hectares in size, stretching 150 kilometres from Royal Natal National Park in the north to Cobham Forest Station in the south.Both the Zulu name uKhahlamba – barrier of spears – and the Afrikaans name Drakensberg – dragon mountains – fit the formidable horizon created by the range.A massive basaltic cap set on a broad base of sedimentary rocks belonging to the Stormberg series of 150-million years ago, the mountains are South Africa’s main watershed.For more than 4 000 years they were home to the indigenous San people, who created a vast body of rock art – the largest and most concentrated collection in Africa. There are some 600 sites and 35 000 individual images in the Drakensberg.In describing the park’s natural heritage, Unesco notes its “exceptional natural beauty in its soaring basaltic buttresses, incisive dramatic cutbacks and golden sandstone ramparts. Rolling high altitude grasslands, the pristine steep-sided river valleys and rocky gorges also contribute to the beauty of the site.”The giant lizardThe ox-wagons of Boer settlers had to negotiate the Drakensberg’s steep passes in 1837 during the Great Trek from the Cape Colony. The apocryphal tale goes that, 40 years later, the name Drakensberg was coined when a Boer father and son reported seeing a dragon, a giant lizard with wings and a tail, flying above the cloud-covered mountain peaks.The Tugela Falls in the Drakensberg is the second-highest waterfall in the world, with a total drop of 947 metres (Photo: John Hone, Art Publishers)From the massive basalt cliffs of its northern reaches to the soaring sandstone buttresses in the south, the range is the highest in Africa south of Kilimanjaro. It is home to the world’s second-highest waterfall, the Tugela Falls, with a total drop of 947 metres. They are easily viewed after a heavy rain from the main road into the park. (The highest waterfall in the world is the 979-metre Salto Angel in Venezuela.)The Drakensberg’s natural and cultural wealth has made it one of South Africa’s top tourist destinations. Accommodation caters for all tastes and budgets, from luxury resorts and hotels to guest-houses, bed-and-breakfast establishments, caravan parks and cabins.Huts and listed caves are available for those who prefer to hike the mountains. Thousands of trails are marked across the Drakensberg, from short ambles through indigenous fern forests to more strenuous expeditions through the mountains’ hills and passes.The park offers four golf courses, as well as horse trails, scenic self-drives, trout streams for fishing, and mountain climbing and abseiling activities.Ancient rock art heritageThe uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park is also a monument to the San hunter-gatherers, who lived there from the Stone Age until the late 19th century – a 4 000-year occupation.San artists used red, orange, yellow, black and white, derived from mixing clay, burnt wood and ochre oxides (Photo: South African Tourism)Living in the sandstone caves and rock shelters of the Drakensberg’s valleys, the San made paintings that Unesco describes as “world famous and widely considered one of the supreme achievements of humankind . outstanding in quality and diversity of subject and in their depiction of animals and human beings . which throws much light on their way of life and their beliefs.“The rock art of the Drakensberg is the largest and most concentrated group of rock paintings in Africa south of the Sahara, and is outstanding both in quality and diversity of subject.”Originally roaming freely throughout southern Africa, the San were forced to take refuge in the mountains with the 13th-century migration of Bantu-speaking people into the region and, later, European colonisation. San culture disappeared from the Drakensberg at the end of the 19th century.The artists used red, orange, yellow, black and white, derived from mixing clay, burnt wood and ochre oxides. The paintings have a documentary aspect, showing the San interacting with one other and their environment. Hunting scenes are common. The subject-matter changed with the arrival of the settlers from the north and the colonisers from Europe.The oldest painting on a rock shelter wall in the Drakensberg dates back about 2 400 years, but paint chips at least a thousand years older have also been found.Rich natural heritage“Rolling high altitude grasslands, the pristine steep-sided river valleys and rocky gorges contribute to the beauty of the site,” Unesco writes of the Drakensberg. “The site’s diversity of habitats protects a high level of endemic and globally threatened species, especially birds and plants.”Protea nubigena is found nowhere on earth except on a high ridge in the Royal Natal section of the Drakensberg (Photo: Ruhr University)Of the 2 153 plant species in the park, a remarkable 98 are endemic or near-endemic. These include the extremely rare Protea nubigena, a plant found nowhere on earth except on a high ridge in the Royal Natal section of the park.Part of the reason for the Drakensberg’s rich biodiversity is its exremes of altitude, from 1 000 metres above sea level to 3 500 metres. It is home to aquatic, forest, scrub, fynbos, savannah, mountain grassland and heath plant families, including a large number of species listed in the Red Data Book of threatened plants, with 119 species listed as globally endangered.For the birdsThe park is also home to 299 recorded bird species – an astonishing 37% of all non-marine avian species in southern Africa. Ten of the park’s bird species are listed as important to world conservation. These include the globally endangered Cape parrot and white-winged flufftail, and the globally threatened corncrake, lesser kestral and yellow-breasted pipit. The blue crane, Cape vulture and bald ibis are counted as globally vulnerable, while the pallid harrier and black harrier are on the near-threatened list.Among the park’s 48 species of mammal are the threatened eland and endemic grey rhebuck, which each currently number around 2 000 – the highest population nationally. Its colonies of clawless and spotted neck otters are also the largest in South Africa.An ancient geologyThe imposing Drakensberg escarpment is the product of millions of years of sculpting by the elements, with its foundations formed over billions of years.A satellite image of the most elevated stretch of the Drakensberg, composed of severely eroded basalt capping a sandstone base (Photo: Radar Remote Sensing Group, University of Cape Town)Eons ago, the place was an enormous inland lake, lying on the ancient supercontinent of Gondwanaland. Sediments carried into the lake were deposited on granite foundations, which formed almost three billion years ago. Today, in areas such as Wit Umfolozi, Old Baldy in the Valley of a Thousand Hills, and Kloof Gorge, small portions of these grandfather granites are exposed and visible.The sediments of mud and sand were deposited for millions of years into the vast central swamp, home to dinosaurs. Compacted by the immense pressure of the overlying layers, they built up about 490 million years ago. Today the resultant sandstone can be seen in the typical table-top shapes of the Valley of a Thousand Hills and Oribi Gorge.The next layer of sediments deposited over the Beaufort sandstones built up the blue and grey Molteno and red Elliot formations about 200 million years ago. These form the small cliffs in the Drakensberg foothills. The layer is easily recognised from the tiny quartz crystals that make it sparkle in the sun. Millennia later, the San used the even Molteno layers as a canvas for their art.Some 160 million years ago, enormous internal pressures caused the supercontinent of Gondwanaland to crack and drift apart, forming the different continents we have today. Enormous cracks in the crust of the African continent caused massive lava flows, which were to create the Drakensberg.The thick lavas flowed and cooled, flowed and cooled, adding up to 50 metres of lava at a time. Over 20-million years these flows built up a deposit of basaltic rock over 1.5 kilometres thick in some places, covering an area from Lesotho to most of KwaZulu-Natal and as far as Mozambique and the Indian Ocean.The lava stopped flowing about 140-million years ago. Since then, erosion has been the dominant force in the mountains, forming the imposing peaks and steep-sided valleys we know today.Through the centuries, the slow build-up of soil on the steep slopes has provided a base for vegetation, food for the vast herds of game that once roamed the grasslands.SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Despite the gush of rain in the early part of the season, corn made a comeback and led to surprisingly high yields in Ohio this year. The state’s soybean farmers were not so fortunate: yields were down an average of four bushels compared to a year ago.Though the U.S. Department of Agriculture had estimated Ohio’s average corn yield would be 173 bushels per acre, many farmers harvested 200 plus bushels per acre, said Allen Geyer, a research associate with Ohio State University Extension.“Everyone has been pleasantly surprised about yields. Price-wise, that’s a whole different story,” Geyer said.On average, Ohio farmers got $3.50 per bushel for their corn and $9.39 for soybeans, both down from the 2016 averages of $3.61 per bushel for corn, $9.66 for soybeans.Favorable weather through much of the season contributed to high yields of corn this year, Geyer said. No days were too hot, which can slow corn’s growth.However, the season got off to a rocky start. In mid-April, mild temperatures encouraged a lot of farmers to plant, but then heavy rain that month forced some farmers to replant, sometimes multiple times. So, some planting extended into early June, Geyer said.“This year we had a lot of replanting going on,” he said.The late planting along with the wet fall delayed corn harvest this year. As of the end of November, 87% of the state’s corn acres had been harvested, which is 9% less than the five-year average for what’s harvested by that date.Of the corn grown in Ohio, the vast majority goes to feed animals, produce ethanol, or is ground up for corn meal or flour. This field corn is far different from the sweet corn that people eat. It’s harder, higher in starch and not so tasty.Ohio’s soybean farmers this year were a bit frustrated with their yields. This year’s average was 51 bushels per acre, compared with 55 last year, said Laura Lindsey, a soybean specialist with OSU Extension.Some parts of the state ended up getting really dry in August and September, which may be why yields are down, Lindsey said. Across the state, the wet spring led to smaller, yellower soybeans, she said.“It’s good to have rain, but it was high intensity rain so we had a lot of standing water and saturated soils,” Lindsey said.Drenched soils hinder the growth of soybeans. “There were a lot of stunted and yellow beans across the state in June,” Lindsey said.Despite the improved weather in July and August, soybean yields were still affected.
The iPad is clearly one of those universal technologies that will be as useful in the home as in the office. Much like the iPhone, people will want it for work simply because it will be useful for getting work completed. Like any Apple product, it’s easy to use. It’s lightweight. And it’s mobile. Plus, this baby is as sleek as it gets.We expect to see a similar trajectory for the iPad in the enterprise as the iPhone has had in recent months.Apple reported its earnings earlier this week. The company reported that iPhone usage doubled since last summer after the introduction of the 3GS. The iPad with 3GS service will be available in 90 days. Our bet is that by next fall we will be reporting similar news about the iPad as we have about the iPhone.Similar to the iPhone, the iPad serves as a communication device. It’s clearly positioned as a consumer device for reading newspapers, watching movies and all sorts of various entertainments. But it is also well suited for the enterprise. According to Forrester Research, the iPad will be particularly well suited to the high-end mobile office worker. These people will pay for the tablet themselves. They will primarily use it for messaging and collaboration and to access email, calendars and productivity applications.Forrester analyst Ted Schadler says the iPad has a number of implications for the market .Google will have to respond now that Apple has extended its platform for applications. And the competition will only intensify for collaboration and productivity applications. According to Schrader:“The importance of great document tools just increased. Apple’s support of iWorks on the iPad gives execs what they need to present on the road and leave the laptop at home. Microsoft should build best-in-class iPad software in the Office formats. (Or watch execs move key material to the iWorks formats.) Adobe should take responsibility for a great PDF reader. And these readers must also be great presentation tools.”We know what the critics will say. Corporate governance will preclude the use of the iPad in the enterprise. It will have to meet corporate IT requirements for laptops. This may be true, but like the iPhone, people will buy and use it, regardless of the corporate policy.Still, there are a number of requirements that would make it ideal for the enterprise, including the ability to wipe data remotely and hardware encryption.But in the end, the iPad is a sleek device that people will want for work as much as for at home. Related Posts IT + Project Management: A Love Affair 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Now Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of… Tags:#enterprise#news#NYT#Products alex williams
Bermuda-incorporated Suezmax owner Nordic American Tankers (NAT) ended the first quarter of this year with a widened net loss year over year.The company posted net loss of USD 18.7 million in Q1 2018, compared to net loss of 3.4 million seen in the corresponding period a year earlier.However, when compared to Q4 2017’s net loss of USD 151.4 million, loss was considerably narrowed in the first quarter of this year.Net voyage revenue decreased to USD 29.6 million in the quarter ended March 31, 2018, from USD 55.2 million recorded in Q1 2017.During the quarter, the time charter equivalent for NAT vessels was USD 11,200 per day per ship.“Going forward, prospects are good for NAT. The world economy is enjoying its strongest upswing since 2010. What is good for the world economy, is positive for NAT,” the company said.The company intends to replace the existing revolving credit facility with a new financing. The recapitalization program is expected to be finalized by the end of the second quarter of 2018. As explained, the recapitalization, when completed, should improve the company’s financial flexibility going forward.“NAT is well positioned when the tanker market improves. The historic average market rate for the last 25 years was about USD 30,000 per day per Suezmax vessel. Such earnings would give a free cashflow from NAT’s operations of about USD 160 million per year, which would pay back today’s market capitalization of NAT in less than 2 years. In contrast, a Suezmax vessel may trade for 25 years,” the company added.Earlier this month, NAT unveiled plans to sell two ships, thus reducing its fleet to 31 tankers.“This fleet adjustment must be seen in light of our three new vessels for delivery early July, end of August and end of October this year,” NAT explained.Currently, NAT fleet comprises 33 Suezmaxes — including three newbuilds — with an aggregate cargo capacity of 33 million barrels of crude oil.